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On Thanksgiving, I love to enjoy precious family time and all of the food we worked so hard to prepare instead of rushing out the door before dessert is served to get a jumpstart on shopping. Looks like major retailers agree.


This year more brick-and-mortar retailers than ever before are closing for the holiday or opening at a later hour so that employees can have more time off to celebrate with their families.

We couldn’t be more grateful for this shift from consumerism back to the true meaning of the holiday. ?

So far, at least 67 stores have confirmed they will close on Thanksgiving Day, and—even more shocking—some may stay closed on Black Friday as well, according to BestBlackFriday.com.

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For the third year in a row, outdoor company REI will pay their 12,000 employees for both days but not require them to come into the store. They also use the hashtag #OptOutside to encourage customers to delay the holiday shopping madness and spend time with loved ones outdoors.

“We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors,” says REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together.”

Heres the full rundown of retailers who will shutter their doors for Thanksgiving (as of publication time):

  • A.C. Moore
  • Abt Electronics
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • Ace Hardware
  • At Home
  • Babies R Us
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Blain’s Farm and Fleet
  • Burlington
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Costco
  • Craft Warehouse
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Dillard’s
  • dressbarn
  • DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse
  • Ethan Allen
  • Gardner-White Furniture
  • Guitar Center
  • H&M;
  • Half Price Books
  • Harbor Freight
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods
  • Homesense
  • IKEA
  • JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores
  • Jos. A. Bank
  • La-Z-Boy (all corporately owned stores)
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Micro Center
  • Mills Fleet Farm
  • Music & Arts
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Office Depot and OfficeMax
  • Outdoor Research (closed Black Friday too)
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Party City
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Publix
  • Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
  • REI (closed Black Friday too)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sears Hometown Stores
  • Sears Outlet
  • Shoe Carnival
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Sprint (Corporate & Dealer Owned Stores; Mall Kiosks May Open)
  • Staples
  • Stein Mart
  • Sur La Table
  • The Container Store
  • The Original Mattress Factory
  • TJ Maxx
  • Tractor Supply
  • Trollbeads
  • Von Maur
  • West Marine

It will still be the busiest shopping weekend of the season.

A new survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reveals that 69% of Americans—an estimated 164 million people—plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Of those, 20% plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day (32 million) but Black Friday will remain the busiest time, with 70% planning to shop then (115 million).

Just a few years ago, scoring incredible deals on holiday gifts meant that you had to wake up at an ungodly hour and stand in line for hours at a brick-and-mortar location on Black Friday. Now that seasonal discounts have become more spread out from the days leading up to Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the holiday-shopping process has undergone a shift from a sprint to a marathon.

Thankfully, we can nab plenty of bargains browsing online at home in the comfort of our PJs while indulging in leftovers from our family feast. In fact, Cyber Monday was the most lucrative day in the history of U.S. e-commerce in 2016, exceeding Black Friday’s online sales by $110 million.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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